Search Results for: childcare

Bumpy ride and slow uptake in first two years of shared parental leave rules

Bumpy ride and slow uptake in first two years of shared parental leave rules 0

Concerns over career prospects impact take up of shared parental leaveIt is two years since the introduction of Shared Parental Leave (SPL), where couples were given the ability to share leave surrounding the arrival of a new addition to their family; and while sharing leave is seen to have a profound beneficial impact for the family, there are still plenty of barriers. According to research from My Family Care, one of the largest is that  there is a sense that it involves a big risk with real concerns around the impact on a father’s career if they were to take more than two or three months off. A second report from the charity Working Families found that despite the initial slow take up of new rights, more than half of fathers would use Shared Parental Leave. However, snapshot figures for the first three months of 2016 showed that 3,000 new parents were taking up the new right. If the maternity leave figure is taken as indicative of the number of couples with new babies at the time the new figures are in line with the bottom of the government’s 2013 estimated take-up range – between two and eight per cent of fathers.

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What the budget meant for the workplace; experts have their say

What the budget meant for the workplace; experts have their say 0

BudgetAs has been the case with recent UK Government Budget announcements, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Budget addressed a number of issues related to the workplace, technology and infrastructure. It was the first Budget delivered in the post Brexit era and this clearly informed many of the announcements made. While most of the headlines over the past 24 hours have related to the changes to the tax status of the self-employed as a way of raising around £2 billion, the announcements also covered a broad range of topics related to the workplace, HR, technology and property sectors and have drawn an immediate response from key figures in the sector. These include nearly half a billion pounds relief on the vexed question of business rates reforms, a new focus on technical qualifications and a greater investment in 5G and other forms of digital infrastructure. We’ll be having our own say about the implications of the Budget in the near future, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of the key announcements and the reaction of industry experts.

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MPs criticise the Government’s response to gender pay gap recommendations

MPs criticise the Government’s response to gender pay gap recommendations 0

MPs criticise the Government's response to gender pay gap recommendations

If the Government will fail to achieve its goal of eliminating the gender pay gap in a generation if it continues to ignore the evidence which it is being given, a cross-party committee of MPs has said. The Women and Equalities Committee is disappointed with the Government’s response to a series of recommendations it put forward last March, which it says shows that the Government is not effectively tackling the structural causes of the gender pay gap. While the Government’s recognises the business case for reducing the gender pay gap and acknowledges structural factors contributing to the pay gap, including women doing jobs for which they are overqualified, concentration in part-time work, and being penalised for taking time out of work to raise children; it rejects most of the Committee’s seventeen evidence-based recommendations for addressing these issues. Instead it highlights gender pay gap reporting, as “key to accelerating progress,” and maintains that current policies on Shared Parental Leave, flexible working, and supporting women back into work are adequate.

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Third of working mothers rely on school breakfast clubs to keep their jobs

Third of working mothers rely on school breakfast clubs to keep their jobs 0

Third of working mothers say they rely on school breakfast clubsNearly 60 per cent of parents rank breakfast clubs as ‘very important’ for their families survival and routine; and a third of working British mothers say they would have to give up work if they weren’t available, claims a new report. The Kellogg’s study ‘The Parent’s Lifeline’, which looks into the role school breakfast clubs play in the lives of working families reveals that just a fifth of working mums and dads claimed they found time to enjoy breakfast with their children – describing their mornings as ‘tiring’ and ‘stressful’. While more than a quarter (27 per cent) of parents felt the absence of a breakfast club would mean at least one parent would be forced out of work, it is working mothers who would bear the burden (33 per cent). One in five recognised the cost for alternative morning childcare would mean they would have to tighten their purse strings, with nearly 20 per cent of parents claiming they save more than £50 every week by sending their children to breakfast clubs.

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Fathers’ careers stifled by modern workplace culture, claims report

Fathers’ careers stifled by modern workplace culture, claims report 0

The UK is running the risk of creating a ‘fatherhood penalty’ – as fathers consider stalling or side-lining their careers to find roles they can better combine with family life, according to a new study. The 2017 Modern Families Index, published today by work-life charity Working Families and Bright Horizons, captures a broad picture – of fathers wanting to take an active part in childcare and the workplace failing to adapt and support their aspirations. Family is the highest priority for fathers. A quarter of fathers that took part in the study drop their children at school or nursery every day; with just over a quarter (26 percent) collecting them more than half the time. Seven out of ten fathers work flexibly to fulfil their caring responsibilities. However, for half of the fathers we spoke to their work-life balance is increasingly a source of stress.  A third of fathers feel burnt out regularly and one in five fathers are doing extra hours in the evening or weekends all the time.

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Presenteeism doesn’t aid productivity, so employers should set workers free

Presenteeism doesn’t aid productivity, so employers should set workers free 0

At this time of year, the days are short, the morning commute can be hellish and traffic grid-locked. Wouldn’t it be ideal if more employers recognised this and offered a solution involving flexible hours, remote collaboration or even home-working? And not just at Christmas, but the whole year round? More and more companies are switching on to the benefits this can bring in terms of their employees’ well-being and productivity. Firms can allow colleagues to occasionally work from home or a third place, provide tools that enable them to work remotely and support an agile working agenda. This can be done in parallel with making provision for a hi-tech and collaborative workplace where colleagues can get together regularly to connect, get work done and be part of an effective team.

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Dissatisfaction with work-life balance is more and more likely to be a reason to quit

Dissatisfaction with work-life balance is more and more likely to be a reason to quit 0

Dissatisfaction with work-life balance is more and more likely to be a reason to quit

The term ‘work-life balance’ has been promised by large corporations for years – and it now could finally become a key factor choosing a career. According to a worldwide survey, the upcoming generation of Y and Z workers demand more flexibility, less face-time, and rather than having to account for half-day annual leave, attending school plays or meetups, expect to be trusted to do the job on their terms. However, the research by Emolument also claims that in some industries, implementing such a shift in perception and practice is still a long way off, as client demands in terms of reactivity and timeliness remain unchanged. Employers do understand that dissatisfaction with work-life balance is more and more likely to be a reason for quitting though, and that higher pay struggles to compensate for time spent away from family and friends. With more pressure on women to cover for childcare commitment, housework and logistics, 42 percent of women say they’ve a bad work/life balance compared to 33 percent of men.

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Where are zero hours contracts and the gig economy taking us?

Where are zero hours contracts and the gig economy taking us? 0

gig-economyZero-hours contracts have had a bad time in the press. Mike Ashley, founder of Sports Direct, has taken a pounding after uproar over workers conditions, and after vehemently defending his position, he is remarkably making a U-turn, ditching the controversial zero-hours employment arrangements. A large number of companies new also turning their backs on zero hours, including Cineworld, Greene King and Wetherspoons. Casual work isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, the secure, jobs-for-life of post-war Britain lasted merely a few decades. Prior to the 1940s casual work was the longstanding nemesis of the working class. The welfare state and the much-cherished political mantra of full employment emerged in a post-war, golden age. In the 1980s capitalism found its sway. Margaret Thatcher redefined worker’s rights, and it paved the way for employers to benefit again from a more flexible workforce and ultimately what we now refer to as the gig economy.

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High earners much more likely to be offered flexible working

High earners much more likely to be offered flexible working 0

flexible working mother

We may all be aware that the way to attract and retain working parents – particularly mothers – is by offering them flexible working options, especially with the growing body of evidence that the gender gap increases among working women with children. But although it’s still a challenge for any working women who aspires to moving up the corporate ladder, they usually have more options than their lower paid colleagues who can’t afford expensive childcare. This is why it’s all the more depressing to learn that it’s only the high earners who are being given the option of flexible working. According to research carried out by charity Working Families to promote National Work Life Week (Oct 3-7), high earning parents who bank more than £70,000 a year are 47 percent more likely to work flexibly than those earning between £10,000 and £40,000. More →

Employers must create modern cultures to retain working mothers

Employers must create modern cultures to retain working mothers 0

working-mothersWhen it comes to working mothers, too many US organisations continue to follow policies created in the 1990s, if not the 1950s. In the report Women in America: Work and Life Well-Lived by Gallup one factor emerges that has the greatest influence on women’s decision to stay in the workforce or leave, children. In the US, more than 5 million jobs are available, but women continue to drop out of the workforce in troubling numbers because despite employers  introducing family friendly policies their cultures remain out of date. Because of this, far less than half of female employees polled (35 percent) are engaged in their jobs, and nearly half of women say they are looking for or considering new jobs. Organisations have to create cultures that enable women to maximise their full potential in and out of the workplace; and those that continue to enforce outdated policies will not be able to keep up with employers who offer more choice and flexibility and greater trust and transparency.

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Offering flexible working to mums could boost economy by £62.5 billion

Offering flexible working to mums could boost economy by £62.5 billion 0

flexible-working-mumMore than two thirds of stay-at-home mothers with young children would go back to work if flexible working was an option, a new study from Digital Mums and the Centre for Economics and Business Research claims. The survey of 1,600 mothers also suggests that more than a third of those already in work would put in more hours if they had better childcare arrangements based around flexible working. The WorkThatWorks report claims that women (and presumably some fathers) would contribute billions to the economy if more organisations were to offer parents more flexible work conditions. The report claims that currently, some 2.6 million mothers are out of the labour market although two thirds (68 percent) feel unable to return to work because of the lack of flexible working options. In addition, 60 percent of mothers already in work do not have access to flexible work despite the introduction of legislation in 2014 that offers them the right to request it.

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Mothers with young children a third less likely to be in work than fathers

Mothers with young children a third less likely to be in work than fathers 0

working motherThe growing body of evidence highlighting the challenges faced by working mothers has been broadened with the publication of a new report from the TUC which claims that mothers with young children are a third less likely to be in work than fathers. The TUC found that on average just 64 percent of mothers with children aged 0-4 are in paid work, compared to 93 percent of fathers. The analysis claims that the age of a woman’s youngest child has an influence on whether or not she works. The employment rate for mums increases by 11 percent to 75 percent for women with children at primary school (aged 5-10) and by 17 percent to 81 percent for mothers with secondary school age children (11+). For dads of pre-school children, employment rates are above 90 percent. This suggests that mothers’ work decisions are affected by regional variations in the availability and cost of childcare, transport and housing, and access to good quality flexible and part-time jobs.

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